Big Bill Davis and his Clover Blossoms

When Big Bill Davis came to WBT in the mid-1920s, he came with his band, "Bill Davis and his Cottom Blossoms." This flyer is original; the photo is a little grainy, but Bill is the one either playing the fiddle or the double bass...probably his boys Charlie and Roger were in there as well. Big Bill was a classically-trained violinist who played with the Charlotte Symphony. Bill and Hank Warren were some of the few Briarhopper members who could read music. In October 2006, Davis' family gathered in Winston-Salem, NC, to remember Davis and the musical contributions of the Davis family. We will get a link whenever I get the chance to call the newspaper. UPDATE: we got out the magnifying glass and Big Bill is playing the fiddle. The mic says "WBT."

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The Legendary Briarhoppers!

In 1934, a potential advertiser called WBT's Charles Crutchfield to ask if the station had a hillbilly band to help advertise its products. Telling a fib, Crutch said "Yes," which led to the birth of the Briarhoppers. The name comes from WBT announcer Bill Bivens who, during a hunting trip with Crutch, was startled by a rabbit jumping out of a thicket, and Bill yelled, "Look at that briarhopper!" At that moment, Crutch found the name for his hillbilly band.

The original band members were Johnny McAllister, Big Bill Davis, Don White, Thorpe Westerfield, Clarence Etters, and Jane Bartlett. The last original 1934 Briarhopper, Don White, died in 2003. Billie Burton Daniel, who joined the group in 1936, is happy and well in Wilmington, NC. Since that time, The Briarhoppers' fans are/were Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs (who filled in on banjo a few times), Curly Seckler, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and many other entertainment stars.

In keeping with the tradition, the band kept going through the years by adding new musicians to those who left the station or who died. Today, Alana Flowers and Tom Warlick head the band with their stage show including the old Briarhopper songs, new songs, and the original scripted commercials of Peruna, Kolor-Bak, Zymole Trokeys, and Radio Girl Perfume! Enjoy this site and learn about the Briarhoppers' storied past and the bright future that is ahead. Don't turn that dial...Hit's Briarhopper Time!